PET STERILIZATION

An increasing dilemma

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In a growing number of countries, both citizens and legislators consider companion animals to be sentient beings that are a part of the family. Although sterilization is necessary to curb unwanted behaviors and abandonments, the methods used are changing in order to take these societal expectations into consideration.

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STERILIZATION EVOLUTION & ANIMAL WELFARE

From the 19th century to nowadays, due to the lack of scientific knowledge of animal sentience,
sterilization methods changes took little account of animal welfare & life-long consequences.

The_need.jpgThe industrial era having brought about a rural exodus, many stray dogs and cats were to be found in the towns of most western countries. 

The_method.jpgOver the past decades, surgical sterilization has been the most commonly used method: in females, it consists of removing the ovaries and/or the uterus (spaying), in males, of removing the testicles (castration) or very rarely, or severing the vas deferens tubes (vasectomy).

The_evloution.jpgWith the development of scientific knowledge, animal sentience is increasingly better understood. The result is two-fold: public opinion is gradually viewing surgical sterilization as a disrespectful act and in their legal texts, more and more countries are recognizing the status of animals as living beings endowed with sentience.

SURGICAL STERILIZATION: THE PREFERRED METHOD IN MOST COUNTRIES

Over the past few years, the rate of sterilization has increased in the western world and in some Latin American and Asian countries, for both dogs and cats, male and female.

Dog and cat (males & females) sterilization rate by country (2011-2016)

Sources: AMA 2016 (Australia), Potential for Aglepristone 2015 (Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom), PAFF-FACCO 2016 (France), TNS Sofres Medicalisation Rate 2011 (Italy), NZ Companion Animal Council 2015 (New Zealand), ANFAAC Veterindustria 2015 (Spain), AVMA 2016 (USA).

Change in sterilization rate by species (males and females) & country (2003-2016)

Sources: Potential for Aglepristone 2015 (Canada), PAFF-FACCO 2016 (France), NZ Companion Animal Council 2015 (New Zealand), ANFAAC Veterindustria 2015 (Spain).

Sterilization rate for female or male dogs by country (2011-2016)

Sources: Potential for Aglepristone 2015 (Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom), PAFF-FACCO 2016 (France), TNS Sofres Medicalisation Rate 2011 (Italy), ANFAAC Veterindustria 2015 (Spain), AVMA 2016 (USA).

Sterilization rate for female or male cats by country (2011-2016)

Sources: Potential for Aglepristone 2015 (Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom), PAFF-FACCO 2016 (France), TNS Sofres Medicalisation Rate 2011 (Italy), ANFAAC Veterindustria 2015 (Spain), AVMA 2016 (USA).

Reasons FOR sterilizing

UNWANTED BEHAVIOURS & LITTERS ARE NUMEROUS

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PET OVERPOPULATION REMAINS A SOCIETAL PROBLEM

Reason_for.jpg> Companion animal reproduction is outpacing human home capacity worldwide

A large number of animals are
abandoned in the wild or left at shelters

(where they are either adopted or euthanized)

> To combat this dynamic, most animal protection agencies require pet owners to sterilize their animal

USA (each year) Belgium (2018)
● Six to eight million animals are in shelters
● Half are adopted, the other half are euthanized
● All cats should undergo mandatory sterilization to reduce abandonments (25,000/year)
 

Stray dogs and cats pose various risks to wildlife (environmental contamination, nuisance factors) and to public health (zoonoses, aggressiveness, damage to property)

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www.humanesociety.org - www.peta.org - en.wikipedia.org

Reasons AGAINST sterilizing

PERCEPTION OF THE COMPANION ANIMAL IN THE HOME

In more and more countries, the companion animal is increasingly perceived as a member of the family who should enjoy the same rights as humans. Public opinion is gradually viewing surgical sterilization as a disrespectful act.

Perception of the companion animal in the home (2017-2018)

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My pet is a member
of the family
RATE
United States 94%
United Kingdom 91%
France 80%
Germany 88%
Spain 88%

AN INCREASING AWARENESS OF ANIMAL SENTIENCE WORLDWIDE

Tanzania (2008)

Tanzanie.jpg (Tanzanie)Section 4(b)(i) of the Tanzanian Animal Welfare Act states that an animal is a sentient being, and that anyone exercising powers under, applying or interpreting the Act shall have regard to this principle.

Chile (2009)

Chili.jpg (Chili)Law 20380 establishes in Article 1 that the objective of the law is, among others, to avoid unnecessary suffering of animals. Article 2 says that animals should be respected and protected as living sentient beings that are part of nature.

Philippines (2013)

Phillipines.jpg (Philippines)Republic Act 8485 does recognise sentience as it refers to both physical and psychological well-being of animals, to freedom from fear and distress, and to allowing animals to express normal behaviour.

Norway (2014)  

Norvege.jpg (Tanzanie)With a few exceptions (medical reason, hyper sexuality), it is illegal to de-sex healthy dogs.

France (2015)  

France.jpg (France)Amendments to French Civil Law have modified the classification of animals from ‘personal property’ to ‘living beings gifted with sentience’.

New Zealand (2015)

Nouvelle-zelande.jpg (Nouvelle zelande)An amendment to NZ law on behalf of The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill states that animals, like humans, are “sentient” beings.

USA (2017)

Usa.jpg (Usa)Pets are increasingly considered as sentient beings (not human property): most states allow them to be included in domestic violence protection orders and allow courts to consider an animal’s best interests when determining custody (divorce proceedings).

Germany  (2018)

Allemagne.jpg (Allemagne)Article 6 of The Animal Welfare Act states that the complete or partial amputation of parts of a vertebrate is forbidden, without medical reasons. It is illegal to surgically castrate pets as a routine or after pet owners demand.

What is the solution?

AN ETHICAL SOLUTION TO GET OUT OF THE OPPOSITION

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NON-SURGICAL STERILIZATION METHODS

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SUBCUTANEOUS IMPLANTS

Implants pause the sexual hormonal cascade
(injected under the skin between the shoulders without discomfort)
Duration of action
  • Blocks the secretions of the pituitary gland, so the testicles’ and ovaries’ functioning
  • Causes a temporary and reversible sterilization
  • From several months to several years (depending on species & gender)

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Implants bring benefits of neutering without irreversible surgery